North Shore Burger

Last year when the Rice Garden restaurant next to Starbucks and the UA Theatres closed their doors; the community was abuzz about what type of restaurant would fill the space.

Raised in La Canada, Craig Bittner and his business partner La Canada Council member Michael Davitt, saw the opportunity to open a Hawaiian theme burger restaurant with waitress service. They secured a lease and waited patiently for approval from the health department and to obtain their beer and wine license. Finally, North Shore Burger opened in Nov. 2011.

The interior is fun. A surfboard dominates the center of the restaurant. Bamboo wall covering adds to the tropical theme.

Since Patch readers voted North Shore Burger as the best burger restaurant in La Canada/La Crescenta, I visited Bittner to congratulate him on his award. He graciously invited me to sit in one of his comfortable booths and experience some of the North Shore Burger fare.

Bittner likes to work with purveyors in the community. The all natural hot dogs are from our local Schreiner’s in Montrose. They make a terrific Island Dawg with mustard, sweet relish and caramelized onions. Bittner gets his pork from Zeke’s in Montrose to make the Chun’s Reef sandwich with hardwood smoked Kalua pork and signature cole slaw.

Prime USDA meat is fresh, not frozen. The most popular burger is the Sunset Beach with housemade guacamole, lettuce and local bright-red tomatoes. North Shore Burger also offers a plump chicken breast and turkey patty for those seeking a lower-fat alternative. With 11 different burger options, everyone in the family will find one to their liking.

For vegetarians, the veggie burger is a tasty Morning Star patty. They also serve a vegetarian sandwich is filled with a Portobello mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, eggplant and topped with an herb Dijon sauce.

Kids adore the Off the Wall starter. It arrives with crispy French fries, enormous Island sweet onion rings and sweet potato fries. The Keiki (Kids) meal offers two mini hamburgers. It can be substituted with grilled cheese or chicken. Red grapes and a small fountain drink complete the meal.

Salad lovers will have a choice of five different healthy options. Sandy’s salad has mixed greens, tropical mango, candied nuts, goat cheese and dressed with a homemade passion fruit vinaigrette. They have a Caesar salad that you can add a charbroiled Ahi tuna steak or grilled chicken breast. The Queens Cobb salad is tossed with a chunky blue cheese dressing.

Teens enjoy the new summer Rings O’Fire. It’s a basket of their golden onion rings smothered with Longboard Island Lager chili and topped with shredded cheddar cheese for under $5.

For those with a sweet tooth, North Shore Burger has recently introduced The Wipe Out. It’s a warm chocolate-chip cookie with Thrifty (now Rite-Aid) ice cream and chocolate sauce. They also serve an ice cream sandwich made with oatmeal cookies and dark chocolate or a super sundae ice cream bar.

On Sundays, adults enjoy the 50 cent beer and wine with the purchase of a burger or fries after seeing a movie at the UA Theatre. Mondays attracts families with its 2 meals for $12 or 4 for $24. The special includes any sandwich, regular fries and a fountain drink.

North Shore Burger is offering PATCH readers a free soda with the purchase of a meal. Just mention that you read this review on the PATCH. 1929 Verdugo Blvd. #B, La Canada Flintridge (818)790-1672.

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